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Lukas Duwenhögger The End of the Season, 2007—08, oil on canvas, 121 x 156cm Image courtesy the artist, Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin and Cabinet, London
'The homosexual’s codes are countercodes. Like a cannibal, it might be charged, he exploits all ideas, messages and roles by orgiastically wasting their content merely for the form, the vicarious fantasy, and then wearing them like a feather, or foreskin, in his cap. — Harold Beaver, ‘Homosexual Signs (In Memory of Roland Barthes)’1
Insolence is not an art without value. It is a way to be equal to oneself and superior to others in all the circumstances in which others have the advantage of you. — Maurice Blanchot, ‘On Insolence Considered As One of the Fine Arts’2
I have never met Lukas Duwenhögger, and I am not sure I would be entirely comfortable doing so if a short clip on the internet of him expostulating on the ‘ego’ is anything to go by. He purveys a savage and vituperatively ‘queer’ intelligence and a propensity for disagreement, which for Jacques Rancière is singularly important for the disruptive dissensus that lies at the heart of both aesthetics and politics.3 For Rancière, the operative word in French is mésentente, habitually translated as ‘disagreement’, but which, Mieke Bal has suggested, does not adequately convey the sense of misunderstanding and ‘not getting along’ of the original French.4 Oliver Davis has also observed that there is an ‘irritable attachment’ in and between ‘queer’ and Rancière’s notion of relationality. This attachment might be seen to reflect the ‘queer’ affects one finds in Duwenhögger’s works.5
There was once a time when the divide between image and word ruled the art world and the